Friday, November 13, 2009

CPAC and AAMD: will long-term loans be on the agenda?

I suspect that member institutions of the AAMD will have something to say later today about the MOU with Italy. It will probably focus on the "promoting agreements for long-term loans of objects of archaeological or artistic interest, for as long as necessary, for research and education, agreed upon, on a case by case basis" (Article II, E. 1).

AAMD members will need to tread carefully. Member institutions have been returning material to Italy, a reminder of the culture of unquestioning acquisition that has prevailed in some quarters.

It should also be remembered that as little as 1% of the material identified in the photographs seized in Geneva have been returned. There are also images recovered from Basel and Schinoussa. (See the discussion of a further example.)

AAMD needs to develop a collaborative approach with the Italian authorities. Can we look forward to some praise for the Italian approach?

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